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Background: Unacceptable high maternal mortality rates remain a major challenge in many low-income countries. Early detection and management of antenatal risk factors and good preparation for birth and emergencies are critical for improved maternal and infant outcomes. The aim of this study was to understand the pattern and level of knowledge on obstetric and newborn danger signs, Individual Birth Preparedness and Complication Readiness (IBPACR) among pregnant women in Dodoma Municipal.
Methods: A quantitative cross sectional study was carried out between February and June 2018. A random selection of participants was employed to achieve a sample size of 450 pregnant women. A standard semi-structure questionnaire was used to collect data and descriptive analysis was carried out by using SPSS software to see the pattern and level of knowledge on obstetric danger signs and individual birth preparedness.
Results: The mean age of participants was 25.6 years ranging from 16 to 48 years and majority 326 (72.4%) had 2 to 4 pregnancies. Only 203(45.1%) of the pregnant women were able to tell 8 and above danger signs with at least 1 from each of the 4 phases, with the most known obstetric danger signs being vagina bleeding during pregnancy 287(63.8), labour and delivery 234(52.0%), after delivery 278 (61.8) . 164 (36.4%) of the participants reported fever and difficult in feeding 182 (40.4%) as danger signs in newborn. Furthermore, only 75(16.7%) of the participants reported to be prepared for birth and complications. The most known component of birth preparedness was preparing important supply which are needed during birth 283 (62.9%).
Conclusion: Results of this study showed a low level of knowledge on obstetric and newborn danger signs as well as poor individual birth preparedness and complication readiness. Important predictors of knowledge level and birth preparedness were found to be age, education level, gestation age at first visit and husband involvement in Antenatal visit and care.